Until the Nobel Committee declares a Nobel Prize for design, the iF Design Award will always be regarded as the highest design accolade in the industry. Touted as one of the oldest design institutions, the iF Design Award has been an annual tradition ever since 1953, and this year, its Design Talent Award alone saw 5,300 concept submissions from as many as 49 nations in just the first round. The one thing uniting these concept submissions were their aim at solving the world’s largest problems and serving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations – ranging from ending poverty to combating socio-economic inequalities and reversing climate change.

Judging these designs are iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD’s esteemed jury panel, comprising 43 design experts from 13 nations and across different wakes of life. It was up to the judges to choose 86 concept designs that best exemplify the award’s brief and ethos – 6 of which would go on to win a total prize amount of EUR 25,000 for their outstanding work and contribution to the world. Scroll down to view the 6 award-winning concepts below. You can even use them as inspiration for your own ideas, because the 2nd round of the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD 2021 hast just commenced! Registrations are free of charge and welcome until July 14th, 2021.

Explore all 86 award-winning concepts in the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD 2021 (First Round)

And don’t miss to download the brand new iF Design App – a new experience in discovering outstanding designs


Elves Camping Accessories by Qing Yan

By massively upgrading the camping experience, Elves makes the outdoors just as comfortable and enjoyable as relaxing indoors. The camping accessories boast of a minimal yet functional design that borders on the sleek appeal of glamping, while still being energy efficient and having a minimal carbon footprint. At the very heart of the design is the innovative fireplace that runs on solar energy and emits thermal energy without a flame. It’s perfect for cooking food on as well as for roasting marshmallows, and the legs of the fireplace even come with integrated lamps to illuminate your campsite, giving you an experience that feels familiar, yet is radically different and better!

Fireproof Ecological Vertical Tower by Han-Yu Lai

This tower aims at providing a protective haven to animals and humans during a forest fire. The uniquely alluring tower both resists fire while creating an area of safety and protection. The tower, designed to be built within the forest itself, has an outer fire-retardant layer that keeps the flames at bay. The inside of the tower, however, helps fend off the fire’s high temperatures by using water stored via rainwater harvesting. “The rainwater collected in the rainy season is used to block heat radiation. When a fire occurs, animals can hide inside. It also increases the rescue time for humans”, says Taiwan-based designer Han-Yu Lai.

Jumpforlight by Yantao Chen, Chen Zhang and Yubin Zhong

Jumpforlight is an engaging, innovative solution that uses a fun activity to facilitate electricity generation. Designed for areas that have little access to stable electricity, this innovative jump rope converts kinetic energy into electrical energy that can power a tiny LED light for a few hours. The jump rope has a mini turbine on the inside that converts the rope’s flipping action into electrical power – and in turn, converts the fun and healthy act of jumping or skipping into something much more fruitful, as the children can then use the light to study after dark.

Mind without borders by Fang-Ping Hsu, Lai Chien-Chen

Designed to keep children connected and to expand their social circle during pandemics, Mind Without Borders is an app that facilitates anonymous connections for children in various countries, offering health tracking, communication with family and friends, and connections with psychotherapists to help them navigate difficult situations. By shifting the caregiving and caretaking process to a virtual medium, the app helps ease the burden on the healthcare system while allowing children to stay social as well as stay healthy.

Time To Eat by The Oslo School of Architecture

Time to Eat is a holistic vision for the Norwegian school of 2030. Offering an absolutely new approach to education and socializing through perhaps one of the most enjoyable experiences of school, lunchtime, the Time To Eat app imagines a restructuring of the school and education system. The app helps act as a dashboard for the school routine while also using lunchtime as a valuable learning experience – school-kids are taught recipes, how to grow vegetables, and about various aspects of the food cycle, eventually facilitating a more sustainable and inclusive awareness of food. The jury highlighted how the Time To Eat app especially helped “bring together the sustainable social, economic, environmental aspects of food.”

Umbrella Badge by Hu Die, Huang Baiqi, Chen Yuling, Wei Peng

An insightful and innovative take on child abuse, the Umbrella Badge straps a smart-microphone to children in the attempt to detect and prevent abuse. Research shows that many abusers verbally abuse their victims before committing a crime – to that end, the Umbrella Badge sits on the lapel of the child and instantly picks up on any abuses, hate speech, or even elevated, angry voices. If the badge detects sensitive or keywords, it can then alert passers-by or even alert the child to possible danger to help save them. Along with these triggers, the badge automatically sends the child’s location to the designated contact.


Click here and explore all 86 award-winning concepts in the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD 2021_01

And don’t miss to download the brand new iF Design App—a new experience in discovering outstanding designs

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